Brandon Marshall was a good idea, but like most good ideas, a time will come when we forget and move on to the next thing. That time has certainly come and passed. And then Marshall dropped that pass too.
Now a quarter of the way through the season, Marshall has been targeted 21 times, second-most on the Seattle Seahawks behind the 23 throws to Tyler Lockett. Lockett has turned those 23 throws into 17 catches (74% catch rate), 249 yards (14.6 YPC, 10.8 Y/Target), and three touchdowns. Marshall has turned his 21 targets into 10 catches (47.6%), 125 yards (12.5 YPC, 5.9 Y/T) and one touchdown. He’s also a notable reason why the Seahawks have been so terrible on third down, dropping several passes in that area.
Why in the world would Seattle want to give him 80 more targets this season when those are the results?
Though Doug Baldwin is not at 100% and says he won’t be all year long, and he didn’t have a great return to the field on Sunday, he did return. That should make Lockett and Baldwin as the top two targets for Russell Wilson, alleviating some of the pressure to have Marshall on the team as a veteran receiver. The Seahawks did lose Will Dissly for the season, and he’s been extraordinarily better than Nick Vannett, but keeping Marshall around as an option seems like it could be hurting more than it is helping.
There are other options too.
David Moore had his first three official targets on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and he caught two of those for 39 yards. His 30-yard grab is longer than any catch by Marshall this season. He also drew a defensive pass interference penalty earlier in the season, his unofficial first target. Already I think Moore looks like a better option at receiver than Marshall does at this point in their careers.
And while Jaron Brown has not been great either, he hasn’t been worse than Marshall. Brown, who is 6’3 and a similarly-sized target to Marshall, has caught six of nine targets for 68 yards. His YPC is 1.2 below Marshall, but his 7.55 YPT is more than a yard and a half better.
Can it really be worse to roll with Baldwin-Lockett-Moore-Brown than it is to use Baldwin-Lockett-Marshall-Brown-or-Moore? I no longer see the benefit of having Marshall in the mix there, especially as the Seahawks prepare for arguably their most transition-y season since 2011.
We should be used to Seattle releasing offseason vet signings by now. They just did it with Tom Johnson. They take their shot at squeezing the last bits of on-field abilities out of a player and sometimes it doesn’t work out. And a release could be a good thing for Marshall too, as it gives him an opportunity to sign with a team that is even more likely to make the playoffs than the Seahawks are.
Especially if he’s still getting 5-6 targets per game for them.